Inexpensive Monolight Strobe Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Neuner, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Lately I've been doing just portraits of my kids using a remote hotshoe flash. My portability requirements have gotten low and I'd like to keep it simple and not go through a lot of batteries. I'd like to get an inexpensive monolight with variable output.

    My kids are still toddlers so I don't need a lot of power - probably equivalent to a head shot. I'll be shooting through translucent umbrellas from about 4-5' away.

    I'm lost concerning semi-reliable brands and power requirements. Online sales sometimes either provide watt-seconds or simple wattages. I'm always reading wonderful things about AlienBees but they are too expensive for me. Recommendations?

    Thanks!
    Neuner
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How about using rechargeable batteries for your hotshoe unit (which you should be doing anyway) or maybe using a battery pack for it? (You should be able to plug in a battery pack and use that to power the flash).

    I really don't know much about the cheap 'studio' lights...I would still recommend going with something like an Alien Bee or Elinchrom D-lite. A basic one light kit shouldn't be too expensive.
     
  3. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Rechargeables provide a faster recycle time but they don't last as long from my experience. I like the portability that hotshoe flash offers for when I venture out but just for shoots around the house I'd like to get something I plug & go.

    In just searching around on the web I see the Flashpoint Models. They have the same recycle time I'm use to at 4-6 seconds and variable power range. I don't need anything quicker. Are they a decent line?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've found that my NiMH batteries last longer than alkaline batteries because alkalines start to slow down when they are only half drained (or somewhere around there)...at which time I would have to change them (for the shooting that I do).

    I often took my 'used' alkaline batteries and used them around the house for months.

    My 2800 mah NiMH batteries will last for several hundred shots before I need to change them. Two or three sets will last a whole day of shooting a wedding.

    Best of all, they are rechargeable and keep me from using batteries that might otherwise end up in a landfill etc.

    I don't know anything about Flashpoint...but they look OK. The thing is that to get one with decent power, you are already close to the price of other brands like AB or Elinchrom.
     
  5. Ron_Uriel

    Ron_Uriel TPF Noob!

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    You can find some worthwhile inexpensive monolights that will cost you less then half the price of a hotshoe flash. I've recently reviewed such monolight and was very satisfied with its performance. You can read my review here.
     
  6. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I am not a fan of monolights. I like old school studio pack stuff. Try looking on ebay for speedotron brownline . They are rock solid , cheep and last forever. Look for a full set up instead of getting one piece at a time.

    D.E.
     

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